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  • What is a Proposal for Settlement?
    • In most parts of the United States, each party to litigation pays for their own attorney’s fees, whether they win or lose. This is known as the “American Rule.” However, in Florida, the state legislature has passed a law that shifts the burden for paying for your own attorney’s fees to the other party under certain circumstances. In essence, if one party makes a formal “Proposal for Settlement” in accordance with Florida Statute 768.79 and Rule 1.442 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and the other party fails to accept it, then the party making the Proposal for Settlement may have their attorney’s fees incurred from the date that their Proposal is rejected be compensated by the other party, if that other party does not achieve a judgment of at least 75% of the defendant's offer or more than 125% of the plaintiff's demand. Since how a judge or jury may rule in a particular case is often unpredictable, we have developed the LegalFeeGuard program. The program is designed to take this worry away, so you can focus on the merits of your case. The program also provides a ready source of funds to satisfy any valid claims made pursuant to the Proposal for Settlement statute, making it easier to collect.
  • When do I need to purchase the coverage?
    • You can purchase the coverage at any time during the life of your case as long as it is purchased no later than 40 days prior to trial. Although it is possible to buy prior to receiving a Proposal for Settlement in a case, it would be unusual to do so.
  • I already have an insurance company defending my client. Should my client buy this policy too?
    • You should check with your client's insurance company to determine whether their current policy will cover them for any adverse result under the Proposal for Settlement statute in Florida. Some insurers may provide coverage up to the limits of liability under the policy. If the limits of the policy are exhausted, though, by the payment of claims, then your client may still have personal liability for an adverse judgment under the Proposal for Settlement statute.
  • Can I see a sample policy?
    • Yes, a sample policy is available upon request by either you or your attorney. Just email Rick Kolodinsky with your name and your case number at rick@legalfeeguard.com to request a copy.
  • How much does a policy cost?
    • A policy’s cost is determined by three factors: (1) how soon you purchase a policy after receiving the first Proposal for Settlement in your case, (2) whether you purchase within 90 days of the scheduled start of trial, and (3) the limits of coverage you select. Limits offered under our program are in increments of $10,000, $25,000, $35,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $125,000 and $150,000. The least expensive option is to purchase the policy within 30 days of receiving the first PFS in your case. The most expensive option is to purchase the policy within 90 days of the scheduled start of trial. Your policy will cost 10% of the limit if you are within 90 days of trial, regardless of when your client received the first PFS.

      Bought Within 30 Days of First PFS Bought After 30 Days of First PFS Bought Within 90 Days of Trial
      Limit (5% of Limit) (7.5% of Limit) (10% of Limit)
      $10,000 $500 $750 $1,000
      $25,000 $1,250 $1,875 $2,500
      $35,000 $1,750 $2,625 $3,500
      $50,000 $2,500 $3,750 $5,000
      $75,000 $3,750 $5,625 $7,500
      $100,000 $5,000 $7,500 $10,000
      $125,000 $6,250 $9,375 $12,500
      $150,000 $7,500 $11,250 $15,000

      Note - Your policy will cost 10% of the limit if you purchase within 90 days of trial, regardless of when your client received the first PFS.

  • Is there a deductible under the policy?
    • No, there is no deductible under the policy.
  • As an attorney, can I purchase the policy on behalf of my client?
    • Yes, according to Florida Bar Staff opinion 28705 (revised) of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Florida Bar, an attorney in Florida may advance the cost of the premium of the LegalFeeGuard policy and make the repayment of that premium contingent on the lawyer making a recovery on behalf of the client.
  • How will I receive my policy?
    • Once your payment for your policy has cleared our system and we have reviewed your submission to our satisfaction, you will receive an email which will direct you to that part of the LegalFeeGuard website where you are able to retrieve your policy documents.
  • Who is my insurance broker for this policy?
    • The insurance broker for the LegalFeeGuard product in Florida is Rick Kolodinsky. He is a licensed insurance agent in the state of Florida and also a veteran Florida litigator, having litigated hundreds of liability cases. Rick can be reached at rick@legalfeeguard.com or by calling 1-800-315-1258
  • What should I do if I see an error on my policy?
  • Is LegalFeeGuard available to Plaintiffs, Defendants or both?
    • Both plaintiffs and defendants are able to purchase a LegalFeeGuard policy.
  • Is LegalFeeGuard available in other states?
    • No, not at this time. The LegalFeeGuard program is only available for cases heard in Florida courts.
  • What happens if I get a subsequent Proposal for Settlement after I buy a policy?
    • The LegalFeeGuard policy covers subsequent Proposals for Settlement from the same opposing party for no additional premium up to the policy limits.
  • I see that your highest policy limit is $100,000. What if the Proposal I received was for more than $100,000?
    • The amount of coverage you buy is the amount of insurance available to pay adverse attorney fees and costs awarded pursuant to a Proposal for Settlement if the adverse Proposal for Settlement is triggered by the result at trial. This has nothing to do with the proposed settlement amount which is contained in the Proposal for Settlement made to you or your client.
  • How long does the policy last?
    • The policy lasts from the date the policy is purchased until (1) the date that is thirty days after a judgment for attorney’s fees is entered against the insured, or (2) the voluntary or involuntary dismissal of the litigation, whichever occurs first.
  • Can I buy a LegalFeeGuard policy for my case in federal court?
    • Yes. The LegalFeeGuard program is available for cases heard in federal court if based on diversity jurisdiction and applying Florida law.
  • Do I need to pay a renewal premium next year?
    • No, the LegalFeeGuard policy only needs to be purchased once, and not every year, like most of lines of insurance.
  • Can I cancel the policy in the future?
    • No, the policy is 100% earned at inception, so there will not be any refunds under the policy.
  • Can I buy more limits for my policy if the case is going on longer than I thought?
    • No, once you purchase a limit under the policy, that is the limit for the duration of the policy.
  • I think my client might have a lot of exposure under the Proposal for Settlement statute. Can I buy more than $150,000 of coverage?
    • No, not at this time. The LegalFeeGuard program only provides limits options of $10,000, $25,000, $35,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $125,000 and $150,000.
  • How do I determine the correct Trial Start Date under the policy?
    • Under the LegalFeeGuard, policy, the “Trial Start Date” means the date that is the earlier of (a) the scheduled beginning date of the trial for the litigation as reflected on any court’s calendar, or (b) the first day of the trial docket on which the litigation is scheduled for trial on any court’s calendar. Therefore, the Trial Start Date depends on the type of calendaring system that the court is using in your case.
  • What happens if there are multiple opposing parties in my case?
    • The LegalFeeGuard policy does not cover any amounts that are awardable to any party in the litigation other than the opposing party listed in the policy. Therefore, if there are multiple opposing parties, then you would need to determine which opposing party you would like to cover under your policy. You are allowed to purchase one LegalFeeGuard policy for each opposing party in your case. If you have two or more LegalFeeGuard insurance policies for your case, then the limit available under each policy shall be used solely to pay a fee award incurred by the opposing party listed in such policy, and not be used to pay any other attorney’s fees, costs or expenses of any other party to the litigation.
  • What happens if the opposing party is dropped from the case?
    • The LegalFeeGuard policy does not cover any amounts that are awardable to any other party in the litigation other than the opposing party listed in the policy. Therefore, if the opposing party listed in the policy is dropped from the case, then the insurable exposure under the policy no longer exists, and thus, no payout will be made under the policy.
  • Can I buy the policy using something other than a credit card?
    • No. At this time, we are only accepting credit cards as valid payment for the LegalFeeGuard program.
  • Are court costs covered under the policy in addition to attorney's fees?
    • Yes, court costs that are awarded pursuant to the Proposal for Settlement statute are covered under the LegalFeeGuard policy.
  • I am ready to settle my case with the opposing party. Can I collect for any attorneys fees under the policy?
    • No. The LegalFeeGuard policy only pays for those amounts for which you are deemed to be liable under the Proposal for Settlement statute, and the statute does not provide a compensation mechanism for attorney’s fees when litigation is settled.
  • Will the carrier assist me in the case and/or trial?
    • No. There is no obligation of the insurer to defend or otherwise assist you in your case and/or trial.
  • How do I make a claim under the policy?
    • The policy documents contain a form entitled the “LegalFeeGuard Verdict Notification Form”. To make a claim under the policy, please be sure to complete this form after any adverse verdict that could result in the payment of a claim under the policy, and send it along with the supporting documentation to the carrier at proclaimnewnotices@xlcatlin.com.
  • What is the Proposal I received was for more than $150,000. I see that your highest policy limit is $150,000
    • The amount of coverage you buy is the amount of insurance available to pay adverse attorney fees and costs awarded pursuant to a PFS should the adverse PFS be triggered by the trial result. Thus it has nothing to do with the amount of the Proposal made to you or your client.
  • Is a trial required to trigger coverage under the policy?
    • Yes. The Fee Guard insurance policy applies to a “Fee Award as a result of a Final Judgment.” Final Judgment is defined in the policy as “the entry of judgment after a contested trial in a nonjury action or the return of a verdict in a jury action.” It will not apply to stipulated, voluntary or involuntary dismissals or losses on motions such as summary judgment.

The information contained in this website is a limited summation of information pertaining to the LegalFeeGuard program. The insurance policy describes the actual terms and conditions and supersedes any information contained herein to the extent of any inconsistency.



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